Comet NEOWISE 2020 Photography Contest Winners

The Astronomical Society of India Congratulates

Names Prize Title
Dorje Angchuk First Prize The Neowise Comet and the Newest Union Territory
Anurag Wasnik Second Prize A Distant Visitor
Karthik Jayashankar Second Prize Neowise Enticing Panchachuli
Sathya Narayana Sridhar Third Prize Harbinger of life
Rohith K A Third Prize The Lonely Wanderer
Dorje Angchuk Special Mention Comet Neowise sojourn over Himalayan Chandra Telescope
Nikunj M Rawal Special Mention My Window of Comet NEOWISE
Pramod Singh Khati Special Mention Window

Details of the photographs are below.

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What the photographer feels

1st Prize

The Neowise Comet and the Newest Union Territory - Dorje Angchuk

Date : 22/07/2020
Image Location : Spituk, Ladakh
Camera : Sony A7S2 and Rokinon 35mm on vixen polarie tracker.




Dorje Angchuk

The specialty about this image entry is to emphasis the need or requirement of our natural heritage the dark skies, as already pointed out that even though my kids tagged along to the location but they were unable to see the Comet with naked eyes and hence were disappointed. Our village is on the edge of the airstrip and hence it is very light polluted. The yellow clouds above the Monastary are caused by the light pollution around. One day later I watched the comet from Hanle Dark Sky Sanctuary (270kms away) and how I wish I had tagged along my kids here too.



Joint 2nd Prize

A Distant Visitor - Anurag Wasnik

Date : 28/07/2020
Image Location : Gondia, Maharashtra
Camera : Canon 77D

Anurag Wasnik

Comet NEOWISE is something which appears in the sky for a short period and leaves curious human race with a scientific study material to fascinating stories. Often stated in popular culture as "Harbingers of doom" or "Bad Omen", the comets are actually solar system bodies and may have many clues to how variety of molecules (even organic) are planted on a planet upon impact. These are the remainders of material formed in the coldest part of our solar system and have played major role in the evolution of the Earth. I am presenting you this very special capture as the NEOWISE will probably make apparition in 6800 Years. This capture is taken from Bortle 6 magnitude sky of Gondia and is processed minimally to bring the clarity of the object without losing the realism.



Joint 2nd Prize

Neowise Enticing Panchachuli - Karthik Jayashankar

Date : 13/07/20
Image Location : Jilling Estate, Uttarakhand
Camera etc : Nikon D5100 [ISO: 3200, Shutter: 4 Secs, f/4.5, FL 78mm. Post Processed in Adobe Lightroom Classic]

Karthik Jayashankar

I had been waking up every day at around 3:30am for around a week before this shot was taken in the hope of spotting the Comet but was always a disappointment due to clouds or rain. On the morning of 13 July 2020, I woke up again at around 3:45am, and surprisingly, I didn’t hear the sound of rain on the tin roof of our home, which is situated at a height of around 6300 feet above MSL. I went out rushing to try and spot the Comet and was delighted to see and photograph it that day! The Comet C/2020 F3 (Neowise) is seen here dancing above the Panchachuli Mountain Range of the Kumaon Himalayas. The lights in the foreground are from Mukteshwar and to the extreme right of the image after the last set of lights on the right is the Dhanachuli area, where the Devasthal Optical Telescope (DOT) is located, which is the largest reflecting telescope in Asia.



Joint 3rd Prize

Harbinger of Life - Sathya Narayana Sridhar

Date : 21/07/2020
Image Location : Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Camera : Canon EOS 80D

Sathya Narayana Sridhar

“Comet cometh down from thee heaven shalt bringeth thou jauntiness!”

I dreamt of a nightscape with the comet NEOWISE since I first observed it. The sky was quite clear on the evening of 21st July. With the ongoing curfew due to Corona Virus pandemic, I could not move out of the city to find a better place away from light pollution. I made an attempt to find a clear open sky near my house, surprisingly I found a place with trees towards the North-West where the comet was about to rise, just 5 minutes from my home. I carried my gears to the place, settled down there, waiting for the comet to rise. Though the comet was too faint to the naked eye, I could observe the tail through my pair of binoculars. I wanted the comet to be framed between the trees. I made a few trials, set the frame, programmed the timer, and the camera took care of the rest. Meanwhile, I enjoyed the comet in the twilight with fireflies flying around in the nearby bushes. It was just magical!



Joint 3rd Prize

The Lonely Wanderer - Rohith K A

Date : 21/07/2020
Image Location : Payyanur, Kerala.
Camera : Nikon D5600

Rohith K A

The Lonely Wanderer

We've a visitor!
A lonely wanderer..
A 5km wide piece of dust and rock,
Immersed in ice!
A ‘dirty ice ball’?!
No! An ‘icy dirtball’! - a Comet!

From far far away..
Beyond the outskirts of our Solar System.
In its long journey
Around the Sun,
It's here now, nearest to us!

It's passing by,
Spreading the brightest light to Earth
Reflected by a Comet in last 25 years!

There might not be a return.
And if it has,
it would take another 6000 years.
Yes, another long 6000 lonely years!



Special Mention by Judges

Comet Neowise sojourn over Himalayan Chandra Telescope

Date : 23/07/2020
Image Location : Hanle, Ladakh
Camera : Canon 6D  and Nikkor 300mm on vixen polarie tracker.

Dorje Angchuk

The specialty about this image entry is to emphasis the need or requirement of our natural heritage the dark skies. As I was watching the comet from Hanle Dark Sky Sanctuary, I so  wish I had  tagged along my kids here too @ 270kms away.  The other specialty is the long distance shot from around 2km to get a the perfect shot and good perspective of the existence of Indian Astronomical Observatory and the Comet in the same frame.

The previous night on 22nd July,  I had captured the Comet Neowise from my village, and it was not so impressive visually due to the light-polluted surrounding, where my two kids  got disappointed. I had to start for IAO  Hanle on 23rd July for some official work. The 23rd night was supposed to be closest approach to earth, and the moon was also already getting brighter. So I had a very tiny window of getting a once in a lifetime longer focal length shot of the comet over IAO.

During the 7 hours drive, I was hoping that this   comet won’t disintegrate the Comet SWAN way.  I started planning for long focal length shoot above the observatory and there was no time for rehearsals too.  We reached the Observatory around 5pm and after some rest at around 7.00pm I started towards  Khaldo(2kms away) village and soon the comet started getting visible. It was a fantastic sight to behold when it was visible to the unaided eyes. I called upon my other colleague in gazing and capturing the most photogenic comet in the northern hemisphere after Hale-Bopp in 1997. The dark skies of  Hanle aided for the most beautiful sighting for us.  In the end I was quite content to get  the  6800 year visitor over the Observatory.



Special Mention by Judges

My Window of Comet NEOWISE - Nikunj M Rawal


Nikunj M Rawal

Let's welcome our Celestial Guest for its approach to Earth which has arrived far from Oort's Clouds. Big Hands for this gentleman for flying by across Solar System. With diameter of 3-5 km and 13 Crore km away from Earth with its tail length expands upto 60 Lakh km in space.

This image shows the natural view of Comet from tree’s window near my backyard and suits to the EarthSky Style Photography. I adjusted my space-time curvature for the comet to appear in my planned frame.


Date : 18/07/2020
Image Location : Jamnagar, Gujarat
Camera : Canon 77D



Special Mention by Judges

Window - Pramod Singh Khati


Pramod Singh Khati

Sometimes stars and nature provide the frame and composition. The comet NEOWISE through the darkness of dense forest. The weather and Covid-19 situations limited our chances of viewing Comet NEOWISE but the stars worked for us and Nature provided us the frame.


Date : 17/07/2020
Image Location : Nainital, Uttarakhand
Camera : Nikon D5300


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  2. Oh so lovely. I tried my level best just to have a glimpse of this beautiful rare visitor but couldn’t make it from Chennai. I really feel bad .

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